Where does it live?


    Because the Epstein-Barr virus can infect all humans, it can live virtually anywhere a human does.  The virus's most closest relatives together can infect almost any type of vertebrate and even a few invertebrates, which tells us that the virus can be found almost anywhere in terrestrial habitats and in a few aqueous environments.


    While this virus can be infectious almost anywhere, it is found in higher concentrations in areas of the world with poor sanitation and health care.  Therefore the virus is prevalent in poverty stricken nations.  But how is that possible?  The United States isn't in poverty and we have lots of cases of Mono each year? 

These slums are a great example of where high concentrations of Mono, but because of immunity the infection gives little to no symptoms.  This photo was taken by Bertil Videt.  Click the picture to view it in its original source.

    This is true because in poorer countries, people indigenous to the area have built up an immunity to the virus.  Therefore, while most of the population does become infected sometime during their lifespan, there are little symptoms.  Here in the United States and in other well developed countries, there is little immunity build up due to less interaction with the virus.  For this reason, Mono strikes individuals with varying degrees of severity, but almost always with some form of symptoms. 

    The picture at the left shows an example of environments where the Epstein-Barr virus is very common.




Click here to learn some other interesting facts about the Epstein-Barr virus!